Hazards of Punctuality by Frank S. K. Barar SignUp

Hazards of Punctuality
Dr. Frank S. K. Barar Bookmark and Share

About six decades ago I was doing my graduation from Muir Central College, Allahabad. For my summer vacation I was in Dehradun with my parents. In those days there was a through compartment running from Dehradun to Allahabad, which was attached as the last van to a relevant train.

My father was a punctuality stickler, and we reached the railway platform an hour-and-a-half before the scheduled train departure.

In those days Dehradun had a small railway station, with perhaps only two platforms. We found a train standing on Platform No. 1. My father felt that we were late and the train was about to leave. He asked me to quickly get into the last compartment. I sheepishly protested, "Daddy the compartment does not have the Dehradun to Allahabad label on it. He retorted in a huff, "Don't discuss", and pushed me into the compartment with my small metal trunk.

The train soon left the platform, and I bade 'good bye' to my father. To my dismay I soon discovered that though it was the last compartment, but the wrong train.

Co-passengers soon became communicative, and some of them were going to Pratapgarh and none to Allahabad. Knowing that Pratapgarh was near Allahabad, I also declared that I would get down at Pratapgarh to hide my mistake.

When we reached Pratapgarh, I asked a person on the platform, as to when I could get the next train to Allahabad? He replied, "Not before tomorrow".

In the same breath the kind person advised me to board a bus by which I would be in Allahabad by afternoon. I did accordingly and reached Allahabad safely. Is this what is known as "learning by experience".

All said and done, I had a loving and caring father, whom I still miss when nostalgic.

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